ASA Philadelphia Chapter: Traveling Course

Posted on April 24, 2016

R Programming: From the Classroom to the Real World
By Jay Emerson, Yale University
Date: Monday, May 2, 2016
Registration begins at 8:30 am, course begins at 9:00 am
Continental breakfast and lunch are provided

Dear Fellow Statisticians and ASA Members:

Jay Emerson from Yale University will present a one-day short course titled, "R Programming: From Classroom to the Real World" on Monday, May 2, 2016 on the campus of Penn State Great Valley, Malvern, PA.

John W. Emerson (Jay) is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor, Adjunct, in the Department of Statistics at Yale University. His work with the S language extends back to 1990 and he was one of the earliest adopters of R for introductory statistics courses (circa 2002). His mosaicplot() function is included in the base distribution of R and he is the author of a range of packages for data exploration and visualization (ggpairs, YaleToolkit, . . . ), Bayesian change point analysis (bcp), and “Big Data” analysis (bigmemory and others). He frequently teaches workshops to clients in government and industry, and has taught summer courses and workshops at universities around the world.

Detailed information on the short course can be found below. Registration for the event can be done at:

I hope you can attend.

Robin Mogg Secretary, ASA Philadelphia Chapter


This course both provides a “hands on” introduction to, and review of, the core R language and teaches essentials of R programming to R users at a range of levels. It uses real-world data problems accessible to all audiences. Specifically, there are two target audiences:

- instructors at all levels who aspire to use R in their courses and for their research
- practitioners who seek to add R to their portfolio and become more productive in outside-the-box problem solving

These audiences are more similar than you might expect and can learn from each other in workshop exercises solving real-world data challenges. The distinction between programming (or scripting) with R and using R is an important one. Most people can use R as a tool for a small number of focused tasks that fit neatly into different boxes. This workshop emphasizes problem solving outside-the-box where no single function or package is likely to be sufficient. The process is as important as the solution, and this approach to the R language is invaluable in the classroom and in the real world.


- The core language syntax and data structures for working with and exploring data. Accessing and organizing data; arithmetic and logical operators; conditional arguments; loops; subsetting; common functions; getting help and using extension packages.

- Graphics: focusing on base graphics but with a quick introduction to ggplot2. Graphical output formats from traditional explorations to (depending on the workshop level and focus) the interactive via shiny apps.

- Data cleaning/munging/scraping/manipulation/tidying. Let’s face it: getting ready for the analysis often seems like 95% of the work. In fact, our work is usually a seemingly endless iterative process of exploring, manipulating, visualizing, cleaning/manipulating, and so on. While no workshop can give you everything you will need, this workshop will build a solid foundation for your future work.

- An introduction to parallel computing and some more advanced topics related to high-performance computing.

2016 ASAP Spring Gathering

Posted on March 26, 2016

Speaker: Naomi B. Robbins, PhD
Topic: How to Recognize Misleading and Deceptive Graphs
Date: Friday, April 8, 2016
Location: The Sedgeley Club (Boathouse Row), 15 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Cost: $80/$55/$30 for couples/individuals/students
Time: 6:00 pm Appetizers; 7:00 pm Dinner; 8:00 pm Speaker Presentation


Hor d'oeurves, dinner, dessert, wine and beer are included. Beverage hour starts at 6:00 pm, dinner at 7:00 pm, and the talk begins promptly at 8:00 pm. Dessert will follow the talk.

How to Recognize Misleading and Deceptive Graphs

Abstract: Good graphs are extremely powerful tools for communicating quantitative information clearly and accurately. Unfortunately, many of the graphs we see today are poor graphs that confuse, mislead or deceive the reader. We will look at a number of deceptive graphs from a variety of sources including politics, college textbooks, peer-reviewed journals and corporate annual reports. Those of you who draw graphs will learn some mistakes to avoid; those who read graphs will learn to read them more critically.

Naomi B. Robbins is a consultant and seminar leader who specializes in the graphical display of data. She offers keynotes, short courses and workshops to train employees of corporations and organizations on the effective presentation of data. She also reviews documents and presentations for clients, suggesting improvements or alternative presentations as appropriate. She is the author of Creating More Effective Graphs, published by Chart House (2013). Dr. Robbins has been the keynote speaker at international conventions and has spoken on graphs to universities, professional societies, corporations, and non-profits. She received her Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from Columbia University, M.A. from Cornell University, and A.B. from Bryn Mawr College. She had a long career at Bell Laboratories before forming NBR, her consulting practice. Naomi is the immediate past-chair of the Statistical Graphics Section of ASA and is the organizer of the Data Visualization New York Meetup.

Spouses and significant others are welcome.

The Spring Newsletter Now Available Online

Posted on March 4, 2015

Please check our online newsletters and the Spring newsletter is available online now.

The New World of Statistics

Posted on Dec. 9, 2014

Please join us to welcome the new website for The World of Statistics!



ASA-P Fall 2014 Seminar

Posted on Oct., 2014

The Philadelphia Chapter of the American Statistical Association is pleased to announce that we are offering a seminar on Business Analytics: Statistics and Big Data. The date is October 24th and it will be held at the Holiday Inn in Fort Washington. The cost is $30 for individuals and $15 for students. Coffee/Tea and Lunch are provided. Details are listed below:

Registration Link:

Business Analytics: Statistics and Big Data

October 24, 2014, 8:30am - 1:00pm
Holiday Inn, Fort Washington


Registration 8:30-9:00
Seminar 9:00-12:00
Lunch 12:00-1:00

Please note there will be coffee and tea served in the morning.

Career Day 2013

Posted on Apr. 30, 2013

In celebration of the International Year of Statistics, the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Statistical Association will be sponsoring a career day for both high school and university students on Thursday, May 23, 2013.

This educational outreach event will consist of two career panels, one hosted at Methacton High School in Eagleville, PA (map) and the other at Villanova University (map). We are looking to form a diverse panel of enthusiastic volunteers to represent the wide use of statistics in government, private business and academia.

We are expecting an audience of around 150 eleventh and twelfth graders enrolled in AP Statistics at Methacton High School. University students in Philadelphia are invited to attend the evening event at Villanova. Both panels will follow a similar format, which may be subject to change: 1) introduce statistics and its applications , (2) introduce expert panelists, (3) panelists Q&A with host, (4) open forum Q&A. A synopsis of the event, including short biographies of the panelists, will be included in our quarterly newsletter and on

As we all know, the need for quantitative analysts is increasing and there is growing concern that the United States is losing its competitive edge in math and science. Please take this opportunity to share your valuable wisdom and experiences with our future generations. Use this form to express your interest.